TSROD understandably making gains

Further to my post yesterday and my ongoing and increasing disillusionment with anything political, be it British, European or South African, this fits so nicely.

 

To be honest, the only reason that TSROD isn’t sweeping the board is that it’s clearly a new option which people haven’t considered before.
If you offered the average man individual on the street The Sweet Release Of Death, they’d likely politely turn you down.

It’s only when you offer them the choice between The Sweet Release Of Death and any of the political parties on offer that TSROD suddenly becomes such an attractive option.

And that’s completely understandable.

 

image credit: the brilliant General Boles

Fed up with Brexit

I am. And I’m not even very involved.
(More involved than some people think (bless him and his little army), but still…)

I’m fed up with the mess that it’s made of politics, the economy, the people and the news.

I’m fed up with the drama llamas on both sides, of the constant wailing and gnashing of teeth of the Remainers and the blinkered stiff-upper-lipism of the Leavers.

I’m fed up of either side twisting any given news story to somehow suit their narrative.

I’m fed up with people expecting their elected MP to listen to their specific viewpoint rather than that of their electorate. Can you imagine if the vote had gone the other way and yet the Government had still gone ahead with leaving the EU? Because that’s pretty much the equivalent of saying that the referendum shouldn’t count. You don’t get to keep trying until you get the result you were hoping for.

I didn’t get to vote in the 2016 referendum: I wouldn’t have been able to anyway: I was on the beach in Mauritius when it all happened. Shame.
But for the record, I would have voted to remain*. And that means that I would have been on the losing side too. Bummer.

Because yes, democracy is great until people don’t choose the option you wanted them to. And step forward that old “but there was so much disinformation, so many broken promises!” chestnut. Well, sadly that’s politics. It’s crap, but show me any political campaign that’s been entirely truthful; any manifesto to which the party in question has kept. It simply doesn’t happen, and yes, maybe (some of) those voting to leave were naive enough to be seduced, much in the same way that you likely were (subconsciously or otherwise) whenever you last voted for anyone**.

Some of the stuff that I’ve heard from bitter Remainers has had very little to do with the truth as well. This breaking news, just in: Not everything is about you. Not everything is about Brexit.

Perhaps the one redeeming feature of Jeremy “the scruffy communist” Corbyn is that he was also going to follow through on the result of the  democratic vote if he were ever elected [laughs in that’s not going to happen]. Kinda weird for him not to take the low-hanging populist fruit, but still…

And one other thing that has struck me about this whole thing is that while the EU “respects” the UK referendum result, there’s very much a Hotel California vibe in their “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” message to the rest of the EU, probably brought about by some other close polls in other countries.

While I believe in some benefits of the EU, holding it up as some sort of bastion of freedom and honesty is clearly misplaced. It’s every bit as rotten and hypocritical as any other political organisation. If you choose to overlook that simply because it suits your argument, then expect short shrift from me.

In fact, don’t expect much from me at all if your day seems to consist solely of stuff about Brexit. No matter which side you’re on.
Yes, I’m aware that it’s important. I’m aware that it’s current. I’m aware that you’re not very happy.

It’s just that I’m totally and utterly fed up with Brexit.

 

* thus alienating half my readers immediately, because you’re not allowed to like people from “the other side”, just like when you were 5 years old in the school playground. Analogy very deliberate. 

** But of course not. Because you would never allow that to happen to you, would you? That’s something that only happens to other people. Not you. Right. Ok then. 

 

Division plans

The UK is divided.

First off, it’s divided into 4 bits geographically and then it’s divided into 2 very different bits politically.

And then there are numerous other divisions you can apply, as documented by Brilliant Maps.

There are 12 different methods of dividing the UK up by such diverse means as Religion, Rugby, Inbreeding and Booze on that link above.
And the reason that they’re so amusing is that they’d all 100% accurate.

Landscapes

If I take photos of local mountains and stuff, a lot of the time, they are actually landsCapes, because of where I live: Cape Town. So, landsCapes… Capes.

Geddit?

Fortuitously, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the recently announced Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017 awards in the UK, “showcasing Britain’s eclectic landscapes”, and being reported about in The Guardian.

Now obviously, all the images that they’ve given us in the article are really good, they’re unlikely to lob an Owen Crompton in there or anything, so having looked at the brief, I’ve chosen a couple of my favourites which fit it nicely to share here. Click through on the link above if you want to see the rest. It’s not rocket science, folks.

First up, George Robertson’s The Cauldron, the industrial landscape of Grangemouth in Stirlingshire. It won the “Urban” category:

And then, about 150km south of there, across the border into civilisation (although you might not think it by comparing the images), Ken Rennie’s The Raven. (That being the name of the boat in the photograph.)

Quite glorious, both. And a reminder that while South Africa and other countries may have the natural features, the outstanding beauty and the drama on an altogether more impressive scale, the UK can still have its moments.

Another attack

Another attack, more outrage, more division, more strong words.

No solutions.

There will be a vigil, prayers, candles, hashtags and a minute’s silence. But give it a week and we’ll all have moved on and forgotten about it. The only reminders will be the banners across the bottom of the profile pictures of our more dramatic Facebook friends.

I’m tired of being told that this is the new normal, tired of being policed on which adjectives I’m allowed to use when describing the individuals involved, tired now of this cycle of horror and distress followed all too quickly by acceptance.

We’re told that hundreds of terror plots have been foiled, and that’s to be congratulated. But when things like Manchester and London Bridge happen (because that’s how we describe them now – just the geographical location – we all know what we’re talking about), then whatever measures are being taken are clearly not robust enough.

Don’t ask me what to do. I’m a microbiologist. If you want to know what eight spots in the second panel of an immunological test for latent tuberculosis means, then I can tell you. It’s the politicians and the leaders who get paid the big bucks – our big bucks – to make the policies which should explicitly prevent these attacks from occurring. And you don’t need to be a rocket scientist (which I’m not either) to see that whatever policies exist right now around this area need to be strengthened. It’s not for me to say how. I’ll look at your blood test and tell you whether or not you’ve been exposed to TB. You stop the terrorists from killing innocent people on a night out.

And yes, some rights might get trodden on, some individuals might get offended, upset, angry. So be it. The needs of the many and all that. A van and some knives, a jar of homemade TATP surrounded by screws in a backpack? That’s nothing compared to what these people would like to be able to do, nothing compared to what they are aiming for. So put on your big girl panties, take a deep breath, and make those decisions which you know are going to be unpopular with some people.

Because hashtags and candles aren’t ever going to stop people being murdered.